KUALA LUMPUR: Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation group Grab, Malaysia has received the go-ahead from Bank Negara Malaysia to offer GrabPay e-money services in Malaysia.
It said on Friday the services will be launched in stages in the first half of 2018 and they would allow Malaysians to enjoy a simple, safe and rewarding mobile payment system.
The new GrabPay e-money services would help customers and merchants in emerging economies like Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia go cashless and cardless, it said.
Through the same Grab app, consumers will be able to access not just transport services, but all of the most important everyday services, whether it’s paying for food and drinks, the latest gadgets in shops or making transfers to friends.
Managing Director of GrabPay Jason Thompson said cash was still the most important payment method for many Malaysian SMEs and middle-class consumers, despite most adults having a deposit account.
“As one of the region’s most frequently used consumer apps with 72 million downloads, we are happy to work with Bank Negara to drive mass adoption of mobile payments in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia,” he said.
Demonstrating the GrabPay e-wallet at the Bank Negara Payment Systems Forum, Thompson said according to statistics by Bank Negara, cash handling and services cost RM 1.8bil a year to the banking industry and electronic-based payments may result in savings amounting to up to 1% of acountry's economy due to lower retail payment cost versus cash transactions.
He said Malaysia was poised to rapidly move towards a digital-first economy thanks to a combination of technological innovation and progressive policies, such as the Malaysian Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020 which aims to increase the number of electronic payments per capita to 200 by 2020.
Thompson also affirmed Grab has taken a number of measures to ensure the privacy and security of GrabPay transactions, including a six-digit GrabPay PIN as a second factor authentication (2FA):
“Customers with a certain amount in their GrabPay e-money wallet account are required to activate the PIN. The Grab app will automatically prompt users to input their pin number when it detects any unusual activities.”
Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh said the enhanced GrabPay e-wallet was secure, simple and rewarding to use.
“Moreover, SMEs can tap into Grab’s large pool of consumers without the hefty burden of big advertising and marketing budgets. For our many Grab consumers, it means they can benefit from mobile payments without having to download a new app,” he added.